USN Provides Scholarships And Gives Lectures on Early Childhood

08 - Feb - 2020

On the 5th and 6th of February 2020, the Education Faculty and External Relations at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) Received a delegation from the University of South-Eastern Norway whose visit, precisely, was to offer Master and Doctoral Degrees for IUG students in Early Childhood. In addition, they presented the Norwegian experience and system in Kindergarten teaching. The delegation included Dr. Ingrid Reite, Dr. Anders Davidsen, Dr. Oyvind Wistrom, Mona Nicolaysen and Marie Skeie.

On the first day, the delegation met with the students at Tiba building displaying for them the types and requirements of each scholarship. There is a capacity for two types of MA scholarship: in Early Childhood and in Human Rights and Multiculturalism. Whereas for Ph.D., it is only provided in pedagogy-focusing on early childhood. The aim of MA degree is to build knowledgeable capacities and research in Gaza in the area of Early Childhood, and in terms of PhD, it is to enable teachers adapting their teaching methods related to kindergarten.

Dr. Ingrid told that: "the deadline for applying for Master will be in the beginning of December, in terms of Ph.D., it has not been agreed on yet".

The delegation, in addition, gave a lecture, entitled "Education in Early Childhood" in presence of UNRWA, Gazan Universities and IUG Faculties. The lecture was divided into two parts: improving the quality of education in kindergarten, as well as, improving the quality of education given to people with disabilities.

First, Dr. Anders introduced some basic information about the University of South-Eastern Norway and presented the Norwegian experience in kindergarten field. He told that kindergarten there relies on children-led and teacher-led needs active learning, saying that "the process must be complementary between the teacher and the kid". In Norway, there is a national plan that precise the role of teachers and kids and the way the knowledge is presented to them. The plan asserts Kindergartens to promote language, communication and kids' integration in smart plays so that could provoke their creative thinking. One of the tools that Norwegian kindergartens offer is to accompany kids to nature, where he/she could discover the things around using all senses and brain. 

Dr. Anders showed some pictures for kids playing with sea shells and discovering the answers for questions through natural materials and how teachers are providing feedback for their trials and content. To create a comprehensive educational environment at kindergarten, Dr. Anders said that the national plan targets not only the development of kids-teacher relationship, but also the integration of kids with each other and fostering the concept of dialogue and negotiation between them. He added, there is a national and local tendency in Scandinavia to underpin the research scope in the early childhood.

In the second part of the lecture, Dr. Ingrid spoke about the special needs and inclusive education in Norwegian kindergarten. She reported that the parents in Norway are always indulging in work, and kids are spending too much time in kindergarten. Therefore, the kindergarten must be a creative environment and a suitable place for incubating the kids' interaction, as well as reinforcing the strategic learning and motivation.   

It is worth noting that these lecture and scholarships are a fruitful outcome of a cooperation between IUG, USN and Hebron University in a project, entitled "Developing the Teacher Education in Pedagogy for Early Childhood Education and Early Elementary School in Palestine and Norway-MSc".

Regarding the second day, some topics had been put on the table among them the challenges that hinder arousing the education of early childhood in Palestine, and therefore, the suggestions for overcoming every circumstance. Based on the panel discussions conducted, the themes, skills and competencies of the academic staff that are a must for MA Early Childhood were discussed. In this workshop, nearly 20 specialists of early childhood in the term of psychology, socially, mentally and educationally teamed up in groups to label their suggestion for developing the sector.

As part of the project, the two universities IUG and USN, through several meetings, has agreed on conducting Early-Childhood Research groups and submit them for participation in international conferences and scientific journals in the coming September. Furthermore, their meetings resulted in outlining the mechanisms of achieving the project's goals, that listed among them the development of joint Master programme in early childhood.